Saturday, December 30, 2006
"Do what lies clearly at hand."
What a great saying for a new year!
Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
The most widely-read book of the twentieth century on the subject of anxiety was Dale Carnegie's How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, in which the famous self-help expert suggested thirty ways to overcome worry. Carnegie's first rule was: "Live in day-tight compartments." While we should plan for the future, we shouldn't worry about what tomorrow may hold.
Carnegie said, "You and I are standing at this very second at the meeting place of two eternities: the vast past that has endured forever, and the future that is plunging on to the last syllable of recorded time. We can't possibly live in either of those eternities . . . but, by trying to do so, we can wreck both our bodies and our minds. So let's be content to live the only time we can possibly live: from now until bedtime."
Jesus taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread," and the Psalmist said, "This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24).
Just take life one day at a time, trusting God's grace from sun up to sun down.
Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
Philippians 3 and 4
HT: Turning Point Online
Friday, December 29, 2006
"Saddam Hussein's execution comes at the end of a difficult year for the Iraqi people and for our troops," he said. "Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain and defend itself, and be an ally in the war on terror."
More links to articles at:
Newsweek videotaper of Saddam's execution:
'I Saw Fear, He Was Afraid'
However, this morning I was checking out the Little Green Footballs blog and noticed a post about the show, "Blog Wars." I was encouraged to read that the writer of LGF (Charles) is featured in the the "Blog Wars" show. Now I want to watch it!
The next showing is this Saturday evening, 12/30/06, at 7:00 p.m. (probably need to check your local listings).
It will be interesting to see whether or not the show is fair and balanced. According to Charles at LGF, there is way to much Kos (a left-winged liberal blogger), but even though the producer couldn't resist giving more airtime to the left, at least LGF gets a voice in the show!
Here are some great comments over at LGF:
"saywhat" has a brief review:
Well, I count myself as one of the unfortunate souls with an incurable curiosity streak having access to the Sundance channel and a tv tonight (hey, I've got 4 kids home for the holiday!).
I'm not sure why Charles felt this program was balanced. It more resembled an excessively long Kos infomercial or an episode of the History/Biography Channel celebrating Kos (by far Markos enjoyed the lions share of attention).
Balanced? In my estimate, the damn thing offered less than 20% input from the entire conservative side. Though I have to admit, Charles your segments were delivered in the calm rational manner I read here.
Michelle Malkin's responses were intellectually sound and her emotions were justifiable but in this programs context - she came off B**chy. Geeez, I never thought I'd say that. Amazing how context can be distorted.
As difficult as it was to stomach the program, I believe there are several frames that qualify as gems for future use. (Allahpundit I hope you taped it!) Specifically the segments with Kos admitting that he and fellow liberal bloggers do not yield the power his readers perceive it to have. His record speaks for itself . . .Kos' endorsement is the kiss of death for any politician.
Many humorous posts:
Holy Cow...the Kossacks look like they need to be introduced to soap and shampoo.
Markos has to be the most simpering, lisping, weak chinned little !@#%@!^@#$^@ I've ever seen. This show simply solidified that impression.
I have the Slamdance Channel. We're watching Rutgers right now, but I'll be sure to TiVo it either way.
I'll fart in Kos' general direction when I see his traitorous little bony a**. I went to a Chili's for the first time in my existence tonight so I have a solid supply of gas.
Ha ha ha haaaa!
Kos, ah yes, kos. Wasn't he last sighted in Iran posing as the 12th imam?
"Looking Closely" shares a great point:One of the best:
In 2004, political bloggers came of age. They propelled Howard Dean from fringe candidate to front-runner. They took on Dan Rather and won. And they charted the course for the "swiftboating" of John Kerry. As the 2006 mid-term elections approached, bloggers were preparing for battle again. Filmmakers James Rogan and Phil Craig's sharp documentary examines how online democratic activism is shaping important elections by focusing on the decisive Connecticut senate race and Ned Lamont's challenge to incumbent Joe Lieberman.
"They" took on Rather and won, but "they" took on Lieberman and lost.
I also notice that Howard Dean is not only NOT sitting in the White House right now, he didn't even make the Democrat cut.
Hmm. . .
Maybe different "theys" are at work here, what do you think?
100 cheers for Charles in his persistant effort to combat and expose the stupidity, hypocrisy, and hatred for our American way of life by demented utopians.
And yet another great point from "Abu Al-Poopypants":
So.... the Left's greatest blogging successes: Failing to unseat Lieberman, and putting Mad Howie in charge of their party.
And a final quote from Charles:
Sure, there's way too much Kos, and way too much Hamsher... but at the end, they lose.
It may not be a bad thing that their hubris is so nakedly exposed. So to speak.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Read and weep for our nation...and the world.
We regret to inform you that the UN has officially accredited three radical homosexual groups. We further regret to inform you that the Bush Administration voted in favor of these groups, including an association that once included a group that promotes adult child sex.
Let that sink in.
Spread the word.
Radical Homosexual Groups Approved by UN with Bush Support
By Bradford Short (NEW YORK — C-FAM)
The U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) recently granted official status to three gay-rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs): the Danish National Association for Gays and Lesbians, the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD) and the International Lesbian and Gay Federation (ILGA). ECOSOC granted the consultative status to the gay-rights NGOs despite the fact that the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended against it, and the fact that one of the groups had clear links to pro-pedophilia organizations in the past.
ILGA is probably the most infamous of the groups granted ECOSOC consultative status last week. A “global federation of organizations and individuals seeking to” advance gay rights, ILGA, was repeatedly rejected for official UN status many times in the past several years for its connection to a child-sex group called the the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). NAMBLA is probably the leading pro-pedophilia group in the United States. ILGA is said to have expelled NAMBLA but, according to UN delegations, refused to condemn adult-child sex. ILGA said “these groups had joined ILGA at an earlier stage of ILGA’s development, at a time when ILGA did not have in place administrative procedures to scrutinize the constitutions and policies of groups seeking membership.” This claim, at least until last week, gave UN delegations pause since the name "North American Man Boy Love Association makes it fairly clear the group promotes homosexual sex between men and children.
Another approved group, the Danish National Association for Gays and Lesbians considers itself to be an organization that takes a “conservative” approach to gay-rights advocacy in Denmark. That is, its support for gay “marriage,” for gay adoption, and for laws that would force churches to bless gay unions, all are “conservative” endeavors because in doing these things Danish homosexuals do not “want to change the world,” they “just want to be in it on equal terms.” The Association does understand, however, the concerns of “subversive” Danish homosexuals, who want to prevent the “extensive heterofication of [Danish] society” that they say is happening because gays are pursuing “conservative” ends, such as marriage. In this way does the Association understand itself as a moderate gay-rights group.
LSVD includes member divisions such as “LSVD fresh,” which is supposed to be a support group “for youngsters” who are gay.
Twenty-three nations on the Council voted for the groups’ accreditation, while sixteen voted against it, and ten abstained. Among those voting in favor of the gay-rights groups was the United States, which has recently been voting in favor of groups that advance the homosexual agenda at the UN. One UN permanent representative told the Friday Fax that, “while the Bush Administration has been solid on life issues, it seems irrational to me that they insist on favoring gay groups that clearly seek to undermine marriage and the family.”
Copyright 2006 - C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute). Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.
The Times of the Signs: The Days of Lot
I don't know how many blogging visitors here venture over to my discussion forum site. But there is a post that was done by a member of the forum (screen name "Sothenes"), that added a lot to a former blogpost of mine about some bad news concerning Rick Warren. You can read Sothenes' original post here, as well as the continued discussion between GMpilot and me.
Some fellow Christians and non-Christians have chastised me (lovingly...of course :-) ) for "picking on" Rick Warren at this blog. That's OK. I'm glad that people are willing to challenge and/or correct me when it's needed! I'm not perfect and I do make mistakes. However, I DO KNOW where to go when conflicts arise. That is to the Bible. God's Word is perfect. People can disagree with that, of course, but Jesus said to the Father, "Thy Word is truth. Sanctify me with thy truth." That's enough for me to believe that the Bible is inerrant! So when conflicts come up between Christian believers, it IS wise to go directly to that believer and discuss it. That is biblical. However, in the case of Rick Warren, I don't think he would hear me. Even an assistant pastor at my own church wouldn't hear my concerns over two years ago when I (as well as two other Bible study leaders) noticed that Rick Warren's prayer of salvation was missing something very crucial!
In a former blogpost, I stated my concerns:
There is no doubt that the success of Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life book has stirred up a lot of controversy within many Christian evangelical circles. I have read several blogposts, opinions and comments from various Christian blogs and message boards. Some praise Warren for his book and efforts, others fear that he is pointing people in the wrong direction through a watered-down gospel message often known as the "seeker-sensitive" kind of approach to evangelism. Others even go so far as to believe that he is guilty of "preaching another gospel".
When I read the "Purpose" book, I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. However, when our church began a home group Bible study series based on the book, I had my concerns right from the start. I wrote about this in a former blogpost called Seeking to Save?
The crux of the matter and debate (for me, at least) can be summed up in this portion of my former blogpost:All the leaders gathered to view a video done by Pastor Rick Warren as an introduction to the study course. When the video came to the portion where accepting Christ was involved, an alarm went off in my heart and mind as I noticed something missing from Pastor Warren's prayer. There was no mention of the need to confess personal sins and repent of them. I had arrived late to the meeting so I thought that perhaps I missed that part in the beginning. During the question and answer time, I raised my hand and brought this up to the assistant pastor leading the class. He said he would "look into it" and quickly called on someone else with the next question. His lack of reaction and abrupt answer was close to an outright dismissal about my concerns!! I was shocked! Two other women sitting nearby said they felt the exact same way about that prayer! I was hoping that this would be brought out to the general congregation (because my pastor ALWAYS SPECIFICALLY EMPHASIZES THE NEED TO CONFESS SIN AND REPENT BEFORE RECEIVING CHRIST AS SAVIOR) but I don't think it was ever brought up.
As a leader of two study groups, I felt that it was my obligation to be sure that the sinners prayer was included in this study so I led such a prayer myself to give people the opportunity to receive Christ at any time during the 8 week study. If I had to criticize the "Purpose" book for one reason, it would be its lack of this important point within its pages.
This is why the book, "The Way of the Master" SHOULD ALSO BE READ BY EVERY BORN-AGAIN BIBLE-BELIEVING CHRISTIAN. It picks up where the "Purpose" book is lacking (IMO).
I will say this. There is much that is commendable in the work of Rick Warren. I am not saying that TPDL belongs in the trash. What I am saying is that it lacks the part of the gospel (the cross of Christ and his death in our place for our sin; plus resurrection to life) that saves people from their sin.
I do believe that God can, and does use even incomplete writings and turns them for good.
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
But I also think that when a crucial part of the gospel is missing from a pastor's message, it must be pointed out and corrected!
It wasn't until this morning that I clicked on one of the links that Sothenes shared in his post. I'm really glad I finally got around to reading it because it is a truly wonderful, intricate explanation of What Must I Do To Be Saved?
I can't think of any other, more important message to share as the year 2006 comes to a close.
What Must I Do To Be Saved?
This is the most important question a person could ever ask. Thankfully, we are not left on our own to "imagine" what the answer might be. God has clearly TOLD us what we must do in order to be saved. The question is answered in the Bible! The Philippian jailer asked this very question to the apostle Paul in Acts 16:30-31. "Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
Men have invented their own answers. Some have said we must "make a commitment" to Christ. Some say we must try to "be good", "stop sinning", "obey" the ten commandments, or join a church. God says, "BELIEVE" on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved! God gives the sinner but ONE requirement in order to be saved. He must believe on Christ. Nothing more. Nothing less. "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (John 20:31) [see also Rom. 5:1; 10:9; John 3:15,16,18,36; 5:24]
But what does it mean to BELIEVE?
The Scriptures make it clear that ALL a man has to do to be saved is believe. The Bible also makes it clear that there is a real kind of faith and a phony kind of faith. Is your faith real? Put your faith to the test.
1.) True faith includes knowledge.
One must know the correct FACTS of the gospel message. Faith placed in the wrong facts will never save. The "facts" of the gospel are recorded in I Cor.15:1-4. "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel … by which also ye are saved…how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures."
The New Testament makes it clear that no one is saved apart from a knowledge of the facts included in the gospel. An incomplete or inaccurate gospel will not save anyone! (II Cor.11:3-4) A vague belief in "a Higher Power" will not do. Today God requires that a man know that Jesus Christ is the only Savior. (Acts 4:12; John 14:6) Knowledge is an important part of saving faith. But saving faith is much MORE than simply KNOWING the truth about Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.
2.) True faith includes assent.
There must also be an assent to the reality and truthfulness of the gospel! We must believe in our heart that the gospel message is true. (Rom.10:9) Saving faith is more than having information in the head. It must include a deep inner conviction and persuasion concerning the reality of the gospel and all it implies. Faith must exist in the head and heart. The fact that Jesus died for our sins implies that we are condemned SINNERS, unable to save ourselves, and desperately in need of a Savior! (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5) No one is ever saved apart from knowing the correct facts concerning the gospel, AND being fully persuaded of the reality of those facts.
But even so, it is possible for a man to know the correct facts of the gospel, believe them to be true, and STILL not be saved! James makes that clear in his epistle. "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." (James 2:19) Satan has that kind of faith. He believes the "facts" of the gospel message. He KNOWS those facts are true! He is well aware that Jesus died and rose again. But having the correct information and being fully persuaded of its reality is NOT saving faith! That is the point James makes in his epistle. It is perfectly possible (it happens often!) for a person to genuinely believe that all of the facts of the gospel are true, and yet in his heart want nothing to do with Jesus Christ! He may believe that Jesus died and rose again, and yet, he may at the same time, enjoy his life of sin and have no desire whatsoever for a new life! Thousands of men today have heard the gospel message, have assented to the truthfulness of it, and yet have said, "No thank you!" to God's gracious invitation to salvation.
3.) True faith also includes the will. Faith that saves must also involve a "choice", an act of the human will. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:11-12) In this passage, John says that saving faith is synonymous with the choice to "receive" Christ. That is an act of the will, and is a deliberate choice on the part of the sinner. It is one thing to believe intellectually that Jesus died for our sins and rose again. It is another thing to make the choice to "receive" Him personally!
Choosing to "receive" Christ goes beyond intellectual faith to personal faith. Christ becomes MY personal Savior! It goes beyond a cold, intellectual belief in facts to TRUST in a Person.
Consider the passage in John 3:14-15. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." Jesus was quoting from the Old Testament book of Numbers. In that passage, the children of Israel were bitten by serpents and were dying. Moses was told by God to erect a pole and put a brass serpent upon the pole… and whoever would look upon the brass serpent would live. In John 3:14, Jesus uses this as an illustration of "saving faith". As condemned sinners, we are like those who were bitten by the serpents. That "bite" was poisonous, and left to themselves, they would perish. The wages of our sin is death, and apart from Christ, we too will perish - forever cast into the torments of the Lake of Fire! (Rom.6:23; Rev.20:11-15) The children of Israel were told to "look" upon the brass serpent and live! That's all they had to do! Look and live! If one bitten by the serpent did not believe the "facts" told to him [that looking at the brass serpent would cure him] he would not bother to go to the pole and look. But what would PREVENT the one bitten from looking on the serpent? Stubborn pride, self will, and rebellion would! Can't you just imagine some of those men saying to themselves, "I will not look to that serpent for a cure. That's the most foolish thing I have ever heard! It's too easy! I will never submit to anything so foolish"! The Bible tells us that "the preaching of the cross is to them who perish, foolishness!" (I Cor.1:18a) Yet it "pleased God by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe". (I Cor.1:21b) The cross, God's way of salvation, humbles the sinner. Because of our sinful pride, we refuse to submit to GOD'S METHOD of salvation. It seems foolish to the proud heart of man. It is offensive to sinful flesh to be told that our own efforts to save ourselves are like worthless, filthy rags, (Isa.64:6) and that we must trust in Christ's work for us or perish! Most men WILL not come to Christ. They choose not to. (Matt.22:3; John 1:11; 5:40)
Believing is easy in the sense that it is the ONLY requirement God has given us. But it is NOT easy to believe in the sense that true faith is humbling and offensive to our proud, sinful human nature. It is hard to admit that we really ARE condemned (John 3:18; Rom.3:9-19), that in our flesh dwelleth "no good thing" (Rom.7:18), and that we must trust in Christ alone to save us or we perish forever. The act of believing is simple. It is as easy as drinking water (Rev.22:17; John 4:14), stepping through a door (John 10:9), or receiving a gift (John 1:12; Rom.6:23). But the choice to believe may be quite difficult. It is a big decision, and heaven and hell hang in the balance!
God's only requirement for the sinner is to believe on Christ. But saving faith must involve the head (knowing the facts of the gospel and my desperate need as a condemned sinner), the heart (assenting to the truthfulness of the gospel message), and the will (choosing to call on the name of the Lord to be my Savior and to save me! -Rom.10:13) It is a deliberate, personal, knowledgeable, choice to receive Christ. You KNOW that Jesus died for your sins and paid your penalty. Perhaps your heart has even been stirred by that truth, but have you decided to receive Him personally? Is your faith real? BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Do it today!
Hat Tip: Salem Bible Church website
(Special thanks to Sothenes for providing the link!)
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Ha ha ha ha haaaaaa!
Bush vs. Kerry Photo Comparison!
Hat Tip: Commenter named "Doss" over at Little Green Footballs
In case you missed this pic in the comment section of my previous post:
Kerry alone in mess hall in Iraq.
I will place some comments in between:
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2006
A better handle on evil
Mr. Farah: My name is Clint Grimes. I am 46 years old. My wife and I have been members of Saddleback Church for almost 17 years. I have known the Warrens that long. I am part of the guest relations ministry, a group of law enforcement professionals that protect the Warrens at public events in Southern California, including Sunday services at Saddleback. In addition to my job as a Long Beach Police Officer, I am a commander in the Navy Reserve. I write you from Kuwait Naval Base, where I have been stationed since August. I am a Christian and I would like to say that I love and admire Pastor Rick and Saddleback Church. I would also like to say that I believe that I am intellectually honest. I have been deployed to the Middle East twice. I have read and seen a lot. As it stands I receive an in-depth intelligence brief three times a week. Regarding Rick's comment about Syria being moderate, you are right, and he was wrong. The government of Syria is not moderate. They do fuel insurgency, put limits on religious expression and are openly anti-Semitic. I also would like to acquaint you a phenomenon of which you may be aware. Many people, mostly Christians believe or at least act like they are protected by the force of their good will and do not recognize many of the evils of the world as well as situations in which they may be in danger. I guess this is naivety. Many people at Saddleback are like this, especially the staff. Living in the upper, upper middleclass community of South Orange County also feeds this mentality. The staff thought we were nuts when we suggested that he, Kay and the other preaching pastors have protection on campus about 10 years ago, and it took a couple of incidents before the staff realize that we knew what we were talking about. In conclusion, I would like to say that Rick is a great man and a great pastor. He has and will continue to do a lot of good. I don't know you, but I have read enough to know that you are a great editor of a magazine that tackles the issues head on. I believe that you and I just have a better handle of what evil is, what it looks like, and how it manifests itself. May God Bless you and your work throughout 2007.
Cdr. Clint Grimes
Unfortunately, as a long-time member of Saddleback Church, I think that the loyalty that Cdr. Grimes has towards Rick Warren prevents him from recognizing the heresy that his pastor is involved in. However, I do think that the commander was absolutely correct when he stated:
Many people, mostly Christians believe or at least act like they are protected by the force of their good will and do not recognize many of the evils of the world as well as situations in which they may be in danger. I guess this is naivety. Many people at Saddleback are like this, especially the staff. Living in the upper, upper middleclass community of South Orange County also feeds this mentality.
I have found that many Christians (usually of the liberal side of the equation) do not see the evil in the world as something that needs to be confronted and battled against by believers. They seem to think that the "battle is the Lord's." Well, that's true, but we are his "army," so to speak, here on the earth and we are not to just sit around and wait for the return of Jesus and do absolutely nothing to combat evil whenever, or wherever we see it!
David faced Goliath in the Old Testament. God was with David, but David also needed to confront Goliath by taking action through hurling that stone at him! Please understand the context of what I am saying, I'm not saying that we are to literally "throw stones" at our opponents. But we are not supposed to just stand by and allow the damage to our morals, ethics, and values to continue, unfettered, in this nation either!
There needs to be balance.
I think that Bill O'Reilly lays out such balance in the last chapter of his book, Culture Warrior.
Although O'Reilly doesn't limit culture warriors to the term "Christian" outrightly in his book, it is increasingly obvious that we need more traditional Christian culture warriors to speak out against the secular progressives that would want to change our nation so that it is unrecognizable as a nation that was originally built on Judeo-Christian moral, values, and ethics!
Pastor Warren is in love with himself. His ego is tremendous and I really can't listen to him anymore. He is in the line of Tammy Faye and Jim Baker. It's all about him, not Christ. His book, "The Purpose Driven Life," is for people who have no clue about faith or life. The media has anointed him until they find some dirt and knock him off his pedestal.
Ave Maria Bacher
I can certainly see why Ave said that. "The Purpose" book has value for those who are already saved by the cross of Jesus Christ. But it is not a book that will lead the unsaved to salvation.
Unfortunately, the cross of Jesus Christ is barely mentioned in Warren's book. I have also seen two additional occasions where Warren's salvation prayer had no reference to the need for confession and repentance!
That (repentance!) is essential to being saved and it is missing in his version of the "prayer for salvation."
Warren's church is going in the direction of the emergent church movement, that unwittingly or not, presents a crossless gospel.
People need to read the book, "The Way of the Master" first, become saved, and then they can read the "Purpose" book.
"The Way of the Master" covers what "Purpose" is lacking.
Who's been co-opted?
Rick Warren's claim of membership in the Council on Foreign Relations and jumping on board the Evangelical Climate Initiative makes me suspect that if anyone has been co-opted by politicians it's him! Not only that, but by implication, Warren appears to be distorting the action of every Christian in the U.S. who has been moved by personal conviction to take a political stand based on morality.
Warren appears to be distorting the action of every Christian in the U.S. who has been moved by personal conviction to take a political stand based on morality.
Very well said! This is so true! It actually defines the difference between what the liberal left form of Christianity calls for (ignoring personal conviction for sin and avoiding taking a stand on morality) and what Biblical Christianity professes!
Purpose-Driven study called 'new-age'
I used Warren’s book TPDL as a study guide for my Christian study group 2 years ago. What I read disturbed me. It sounded almost like another gospel. It was very new-age and Pelagian. Warren’s subsequent press has reaffirmed my original thoughts about his gospel. His ecumenical message fits better with the World Council of Churches mission statement. Warren’s gospel is not The Gospel in my opinion. Only the Holy Spirit can make the difference, not works.
Funny how things become much more clear as we do research!
The truth about the "World Council of Churches."
I'm sure that many readers have heard about the phenomenon that deaths of celebrities/powerful/well-known people often occur in threes. Of course I'm not into "numerology" or any kind of thing like that. It's just something that I've noticed time and time again.
Legendary soul singer James Brown died earlier this week. Now Gerald Ford. Will there be a third well-known person passing this week?
Brown was 73 and Ford was 93! Ford lived a long life, but he wasn't healthy over the past several years.
I haven't had the chance to read much about either man. I do not know whether or not they were born again in Jesus Christ or not. I suppose we will all learn much more about them at the televised services.
Psalm 23 is a popular psalm of comfort when loved ones pass away.
From the Blue Letter Bible
New King James Version
Psa 23:1 PSALM 23
A Psalm of David.
THE LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
Psa 23:2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell* in the house of the LORD
But did you know that there is so much more meaning in that Psalm than what we get from it on the surface?
I recently did a study that was based on Psalm 23. You can read about it over at my other blog called The Way of God in Truth.
One really great book on this Psalm is Max Lucado's Traveling Light. In the book, Lucado shares the promise of Psalm 23 in a way that helps us to release the burdens that we were never intended to bear. Great book!
My son bought me Lucado's newest book for Christmas! It's called Facing Your Giants. Can't wait to read it!
The book jacket says:
David. You could read his story and wonder what God saw in him. His life has little to offer the unstained, straight-A saint. He fell as often as he stood, stumbled as often as he conquered. But for those who know the sound of a Goliath, David gives this reminder:
Focus on giants - you stumble.
Focus on God - your giants tumble.
If you're ready to face your giants, let his story inspired you. The same God who helped him will help you.
I'm inspired already!
What matters most in life is focusing on God and the mission that he has given each and every one of us in this world. We may wonder what God "sees in us," but once we get ourselves out of the way, God's strength... not our own... can work through us, with us, and for us!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
So. What do we talk about the day after Christmas?
I was wondering what I should blog about this morning. It's too early for a New Year's Resolutions post!
Then, I ran across a new post over at my message board. I thought it put forth some very informative and interesting facts about the current struggles going on over in Iraq. See what you think about it. I posted a brief comment at the end, but did not address a lot of what is in the post. Perhaps some of you will have additional points to add.
The things in Iraq took yet another wrong turn when Bush forced Maliki to meet him in Jordan. The meeting did not help Republicans in the elections, but broke the Iraqi coalition. The faction of Shiite cleric al-Sadr walked out of the government coalition, as promised, because of the meeting. No one in Iraq has a slightest doubt that Maliki is an American quisling. That’s ok with the people. In Muslims countries, rulers are not expected to represent population; the US and the Qaeda each tries to change that. Muslims are very extroversive and value fac'ade and rituals. Maliki could be a puppet, but he should behave like a tiger – Iraqi tiger. At least, Maliki managed to skip social meeting with Bush and Jordanian King Abdullah (Olmert ignored Arab mentality and met Abdullah several times, a PR disaster). If that attention to rituals looks silly to rational Americans, it probably is. But that’s how it works in the region. To reach an agreement with Iraqis – rather than simply punish the Baathist state – the US negotiators would have to sit hours and days with various Iraqis, both bureaucrats and radicals, drinking super-sweet Iranian tea, chain-smoking on par with their opponents and talking, talking, and talking. That might or might not bring the desired results, but no other approach could deliver a stable, moderate, US-friendly Iraq. To please his American masters, Maliki brought together fictitious coalition. Its Shiite faction does not include al-Sadr’s group, the main Shiite organization. It includes only a minor Sunni party, also non-representative. The coalition is advertised as moderate, but listen to the names: Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party (sectarians), the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution (sic) in Iraq, and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (separatist organization, as the name makes clear). The coalition is meant to squeeze Sadr out of politics. He would indeed go – into the urban battlefields. Sadr could show himself a good Muslim, promise to step down the fighting – and use the truce to train his forces. He needs time to grow the Mahdi gang into an army. Sistani’s approval won’t cement the coalition. He is merely a religious authority. Religious power in Islam is very dispersed because every cleric and theoretically every Muslim could pronounce fatwas. People go along with famous clerics insofar as they opportunistically serve the mob’s wishes. Sistani cannot afford to condemn fighting the Sunnis, thus his blessing of the coalition could only be half-hearted. Moreover, Shiite militia includes few fundamentalists who would blindly obey Sistani. They are common guerrillas who only superficially subscribe to religion or ideology. They fight for the sake of killing. Their loyalty is with Sadr. Iran – al-Sadr’s sponsor – does not care about Iraqi Shiite bosses such as Sistani. Civil war in Iraq suits Iranian national interest: strong and hostile neighbor turns into protectorate. Iran, not Sadr is the problem, but Sadr handsomely contributes to the situation. Oddly, the US loses its soldiers, kills Iraqis and allows still larger numbers to die in the conflict while al-Sadr, who orchestrates much of the violence, lives in safety. Why not assassinate him? The White House PR people offended the common sense when they staged Robert Gates’ meeting with a dozen of handpicked soldiers who assured him that the army is on the right track.
I don't know much about the author of that post. His/her screen name is OSfllwr. Perhaps I can find out more when he/she returns to my message board and replies to my post:
Some thoughts on your post...
Thank you for your very informative post. It is good to get the Iraqi views and side of the equation.
Wasn't al Sadr supposed to be arrested for several murders that he called for, even before the U.S. came into Iraq?
Your idea of assassinating him might create even more havoc, being that martyrdom is just another reason to incite more violence and call for jihad.
The idea of "sitting down and talking" doesn't sound like it would work. The U.S. doesn't have (nor should they have) the patience for such a thing because the end result would probably not amount to much change, if any.
For example. The "talking" and "agreements" that were done with Arafat (on behalf of the Palestinians) when he was alive often amounted to nothing more than a temporary cease fire of hostilities. It was hard to trust a man like Arafat when he said niceities in front of the American news audience, then went into the local mosque and screamed in Arabic, "death to America." (See the film Obsession: Radical Islam's War with the West.)
Your statement here is truly an eye opener, for me, at least:Quote:
Muslims are very extroversive and value fac'ade and rituals.
Perhaps the reason for this is their history of life without any kind of liberty or real freedom...
Sunday, December 24, 2006
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
That brief saying and Bible verse is on a dark blue t-shirt that I bought at a Christian book store yesterday. There is a beautiful white, artistic print picture of Mary and Jesus on the shirt. She is sitting behind the manger with her arms outstretched, about to embrace the baby Jesus.
Have you embraced Jesus?
Is He Lord and Savior of your life?
I am reminded of some of the scenes in the movie Forrest Gump.
After Forrest and Lt. Dan drank alcohol and celebrated with two women at a bar on New Year's Eve, they went back to Dan's apartment to continue the party.
One woman, after an unsuccessful attempt to get Forrest to have sex with her, asked, "Is your friend stupid or somethin?"
The woman with Dan mockingly asked something like this, "Yeah, what's the matter...did he lose "it" in the war or somethin?"
Lt. Dan, (in a wheelchair due to losing both legs in the Vietnam war) became very angry at both women. He proceeded to take the woman who was sitting half naked on his own lap and pushed her off. He fired back, "Don't call him 'stupid.' "
One could not help but notice how the woman with Dan "turned on a dime," so to speak. She began calling Lt. Dan names like "loser," and "cripple," etc. because in the next moment, he had fallen off of his wheelchair.
What a contrast, huh?
One moment she was all hyped up, about to have sex with him and the next moment she was nasty and berating him. Talk about fake love and feigned friendship! Both women left, still yelling epithets at the two of them.
Forrest apologized to Lt. Dan for breaking up the party. He briefly explained his disgust with the woman because she, apparently, deeply kissed him and he said, "she tasted like cigarettes."
A bit later in this scene, Lt. Dan asks Forrest, "Have you found Jesus yet?"
Forrest answered, "I didn't know I was supposed to be looking for him."
Doesn't that describe our society today? Many people are out there celebrating Christmas, without recognizing the true meaning and value of this blessed holiday. Many, unfortunately, ignore that His destiny was to change ours.
Lt. Dan then described to Forrest what often happens during his visits to the disabled veteran's hall. He said something like, "That's all those vets talk about...Jesus this...and Jesus that. If I accept Jesus into my heart, I will one day walk with Him in the kingdom of heaven. Did you hear that Forrest? I will walk. But I have to help myself."
And Lt. Dan Taylor, shows how people's minds can change through the years, when, at first, all he desires to do is to die in the camp with his fellow soldiers; yet years later, ends up thanking Forrest, whose actions (despite Dan's anger at first) saved him from an early demise.
Back in the scene where Dan and Forrest had partnered up to become successful shrimp boat entrepreneurs, Lt. Dan thanks Forrest for "saving his life." In the narrative part of the film, Forrest waas speaking about Lt. Dan and says, "I think he had made his peace with God."
This portion of the film may have seemed a small and insignificant part to many movie-goers, commentators and critics. But it served as a powerful message to many in the Christian audience, who recognized it's importance and significance.
This sub-story within the story of Forrest Gump is an example of how "Jesus' destiny was to change ours."
Today, while (unsuccessfully) attempting to find the exact script lines used, I came across this link that contained 74 pages of opinions and comments!
Not going to get through that large a list today!
I was a bit surprised to find so many reviewers who absoluted hated this classic film! Perhaps one man's post might explain at least one of the reasons for such hatred :
Absolutely awful concatenation of lachrymose sentimentality and right-wing politics. I hated this movie with an intensity that cannot be measured. This was one of the most inward looking American movies to be seen in a long time. Americans seem to believe that there is no other country outside "Godzone"
Ah ha! Someone actually did notice the message about Jesus within this film, but as we can see, he personally hated and rejected it outright!
But believers see a different kind of message. We see that God can use anyone, (including someone with limited mental capacity like Forrest) to help transform someone else's life and show him/her the path to Jesus and reconciliation with God.
Forrest's efforts helped to transform Lt. Dan's life. This presents one of the most emotional moments of the whole film when Dan comes to visit for the wedding between Gump and his doomed wife, Jenny - and is able to walk on artificial limbs, obviously happy to be alive. Forrest called them "magic legs" recalling his disability as a child when he needed to wear braces on his own legs.
Another transformed life through Jesus Christ!
Jesus Christ's destiny...was, and is to change ours.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,but have everlasting life." John 3:16
Be sure to visit Charlie's "Christmas Encounters" at AnotherThink!
Christmas Encounters part 1 - 4
Don't miss this one, either:
2006 Christmas Message: Redemption Provided
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Case in point.
Last week, there was a letter-to-the-editor published in the Faith & Values section of our local newspaper. Here's that letter:
Homosexuality is natural*******
What is a homosexual? Homosexuality is the sexual desire directed toward a person of the same sex. What is this desire? This desire is a sexual appetite of the animal body. Where does this appetite come from? A natural hunger to satisfy a bodily craving, whether for food, curiosity, or sex.
These are three major appetites of human bodies upon birth. One is for food, another is for sex and another is for living life, called curiosity. All three are natural, varying and necessary for nature to be satisfied.
All three are as variable as the multiple fingerprints and personalities that we all have from birth. "Genetic factors: Chromosomes play a large part in determining the sexual identity of a child. Normally for humans, the configurations are XX and XY for female and male respectively, but this is not always the case. There can also be chromosomal abnormalities, which may result in karyotypes such as XXY, XYY, etc., as well" (Wikipedia).As we can see, the Bible comments about homosexuals are not from God, but politics and man-made morals. We can plainly see that the Bible is not 100 percent the word of God, but is also the comments of men about what they claim God has said.
I wrote a rebuttal of that letter and it appeared in the publication today:
In his attempt to claim that homosexual behavior is "natural," Armand A. takes his own opinions and pits them against both science (sodomy is unhealthy, causes deadly disease and against proper sexual function) and God.
God's Word is the same yesterday, today and forever. Therefore, what was said in the Bible about homosexuality is still true today. In his prayer to the Father, Jesus spoke in absolutes when he said, "Your Word is truth." He also reiterated that "God made them male and female." He was speaking about the Old Testament Scriptures as well as the words that the Father gave him to speak during his three year ministry on earth.
Is Armand claiming that Jesus is a liar?
The sexual act of sodomy is explicitly mentioned as sin and is called an abomination to God. You can't get any more specific than that! Modern Bible "scholars" may try to twist the Scriptures and use their esogesis techniques to get around such facts, but the proper methods of interpretation use exegesis, hermeneutics, Sola Scriptura, and Scripture interprets Scripture. The Bible's exact description of this aberrant, forbidden sexual act cannot possibly be dismissed or misconstrued. It is only those who wish to eliminate parts of the Bible they dislike, and do not want to adhere to, who attempt to dismiss this fact about homosexual behavior...to their own detriment, too. More at www.talkwisdom.blogspot.com/.
Now, you would think that I should be happy, right?
Guess what the editors chose to leave out of my letter? The last sentence with a link to my blogspot!
I read the instructions about including links to websites in letters and followed them. Apparently, they want people to eliminate the http: etc. and only put www.(your domain name).com in the letter. I did that, yet they choose to half-censor my letter by eliminating the link (a typed out link that was done properly, I might add) from the publication!
Isn't this just so typical of the mainstream media?
We have seen it over and over again!
I could list a myriad of examples. For at least dozens, if not hundreds of examples, go read about Michele Malkin's (a champion for traditional culture warrior causes) oftentimes "subtle" suppression of free speech via Youtube and the mainstream media (as well as the harsh, cruel and threatening letters and emails she gets) at her blogspot.
Censorship of my views has happened to me, personally, at least 3 or 4 times when I have attempted to publish rebuttals to flawed articles (usually about Christianity and the Bible) in my local newspaper.
What a shame...and a sham such publications and their censoring editors are!!
At least now we have the blogosphere, where censorship is at a minimum. However, it still exists (as M. Malkin's case of being kicked off YouTube shows) and it is almost always targeted at the traditionalist warriors in this culture war we are in.
It's a shame that the link to my blog was omitted for several reasons. First, the people who read my letter will not have the opportunity to see how well I can back up what I wrote through further links provided here.
I will start with a new link. I read this blogpost last week, but wanted to wait until my rebuttal letter to Armand's crazy rant appeared in the paper. A Christian co-blogging friend, D.L. Foster, (who is also a pastor) over at
Perspectives in Motion has an excellent post with additional links about the topic of Homosexuality a "temptation, not orientation"
It is short, but definitely profound:
Former homosexual Rev. Tim Wilkins of North Carolina, speaking at the Saddleback AIDS conference said something I would categorize as mildly profound.For Christians to love homosexuals like Jesus would, they should stop thinking of homosexuality as an orientation and start thinking of it as a temptation, says Tim Wilkins, himself "formerly gay." [source]
I agree with that. We believe there is only one orientation. Man was emotionally, relationally and sexually oriented towards woman and God pronounced it good. What is now called "sexual orientation[s]" is largely a man made concoction, a product of his sinful rebellion against God. Homosexuality -- a sinful condition-- then is part of the sexual divergence from the will, purpose and creative intent of God. Of course gay activists have attempted to coop this truth with "science".
Seeing it as such would quickly alleviate this social, and perhaps political struggle over the "rights" of homosexuals.
Now, we all know that we would never hear about Tim Wilkin's loving way of handling this topic in the mainstream media. The only ones who ever get a voice are the gay activists and the people who might be over the top on this subject (e.g. Phelps and his ilk). Would Tim Wilkins get an interview in the MSM to share his message? No. Of course not. The reason why? D.L. Foster nails it when he stated:
Of course gay activists have attempted to coop this truth with "science". Seeing it as such would quickly alleviate this social, and perhaps political struggle over the "rights" of homosexuals.
What bothers me, in particular, is the fact that there is so much scientific evidence that the sexual acts of homosexuals should never even be practiced no less taught in public schools as "normal," "natural," or "healthy." The health risks alone should be enough to stem the tide. But we live in a "morally relativistic universe of politically correct tolerance," so that important scientific research on the health risks, damage to the physical, social and psychological health of individuals who engage in such behavior doesn't get any kind of fair hearing. Just go to the NARTH website and see for yourself!
The spiritual damage can be seen in posts here, here, and here; just to list a few. Many more links are provided at the end of this post in the "additional links list."
It's a shame that the readers of my local newspaper will not get the whole story on this issue because one editor made the censoring decision to exclude my blogpost link. They could have read the following links that I have posted on this blog. For most, it probably would have been quite an education based on the fact that the MSM would never allow such information to be broadcast on T.V. or in the newspapers.
I'll admit one thing. Time magazine sure got it right when they placed the "You" as the Persons of the Year, meaning the bloggers, YouTubers and website providers who are making a huge difference in the culture war!
Additional Links List
Hat Tip: Perspectives in Motion
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Because He Came
Yet out of [Bethlehem] shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. Micah 5:2
Bill Gaither wrote a beautiful gospel song, "Because He Lives," the chorus of which explains why Christ's resurrection is so important: "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives, all fear is gone; because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living, just because He lives!"
(©1971 William J. Gaither)
But we might also go back about thirty years to Christ's birth and write another song titled "Because He Came." Think how His coming into the world changed everything. Because He came, we can know God, we can have our sins forgiven, we can know purpose in life, we can be sure of our eternal salvation, we can understand the plan and purpose for all creation, and we can live in perfect peace. The entrance of no other man or woman into this world has provided benefits such as those. But to experience the benefits of Christ's advent, we must know Him! Don't let this Christmas season pass by without discovering why He came for you.
Because Christ came, we can know that He will come again and receive us unto himself.
The fact is that the greatest mystery of all the incarnation comes at the very beginning [of faith] and is the central reason why we believe in God.
Revelation 11:1 - 13:18
From: Turning Point Online
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
My thanks must go to Ebsfwan for bringing the original article to my attention over at my message board forum. The title was enough to send any gay rights activist into a tizzy!
Soy is making kids 'gay.'
It might be a good idea to read that article first, then click on Rutz's follow-up article called The trouble with soy - part 2.
Be sure to go to the links included in that article so that you can see how much of a controversy this is turning out to be!
Perhaps you may be inclined to laugh off the "gay kids" connection, but after reading the following part from Rutz's second article, I think that we can't deny the science behind the fear too much soy can hurt us!
If you think you don't eat much soy, think again. Though only 15 percent of us eat a mostly-soy product once a week, 55-70 percent of all processed foods in supermarkets now have some soy in them. You can't escape it. Soybean oil accounts for a whopping 79 percent of the edible fats used annually in the U.S.
Health-conscious people are likely to eat the most. Even a moderate vegetarian or soy fan would think nothing of tossing down eight ounces of tofu, a quarter cup of roasted soy nuts and a glass of soymilk daily, and that's far, far more than any normal Japanese individual would be likely to consume.
But the worst victims of soy are babies. Per kilogram of body weight, the average Japanese in 2000 ate 0.47 milligrams of soy isoflavones daily, while the average U.S. baby drinking soy formula got 6.25 milligrams. Isoflavones are testosterone-suppressing female hormones.
Just goes to show that what you don't know about what you are eating can hurt you!
What do you think?
P.S. I'm so glad that way back when...I breast-fed my babies!! Just an additional good health benefit (besides the fact that the baby's immunity system builds up) reason to do so!
Monday, December 18, 2006
Each time that I see another liberal Democrat bash and blame Bush over the war (the way that Hillary Clinton did today during her interview with Meredith Viera), especially when she (like John Kerry) voted for it in the first place, I have struggled to find the correct word for what, and why (besides politics), they are continually doing that. Humphrey's article helped me to realize the real, genuine, subconscious reason that they can do such a thing. Indeed...it is because of the sin of indifference.
Why is it the morale of American troops in Iraq remains so high, and why are re-enlistment rates so strong? Elie Wiesel may shed some light on this important question.
[You must click on the link to read all of Wiesel's enlightening comments.]
From Mr. Wiesel's speech:
Fifty-four years ago to the day, a young Jewish boy from a small town in the Carpathian Mountains woke up, not far from Goethe's beloved Weimar, in a place of eternal infamy called Buchenwald. He was finally free, but there was no joy in his heart. He thought there never would be again. Liberated a day earlier by American soldiers, he remembers their rage at what they saw. And even if he lives to be a very old man, he will always be grateful to them for that rage, and also for their compassion. Though he did not understand their language, their eyes told him what he needed to know – that they, too, would remember, and bear witness.
In that same speech,Wiesel spoke eloquently about what he considered the real cause of the Holocaust – the indifference to the evil of Hitler. The blurring of the lines between good and evil to avoid confronting evil:What is indifference? Etymologically, the word means "no difference." A strange and unnatural state in which the lines blur between light and darkness, dusk and dawn, crime and punishment, cruelty and compassion, good and evil. What are its courses and inescapable consequences? Is it a philosophy? Is there a philosophy of indifference conceivable? Can one possibly view indifference as a virtue? Is it necessary at times to practice it simply to keep one's sanity, live normally, enjoy a fine meal and a glass of wine, as the world around us experiences harrowing upheavals?
Wiesel dug in deeper to the true menace of indifference. In the end, indifference is always the friend of the enemy. Enemies like Radical Islam and Fascism depend on our indifference.
The Iraqi people are getting blown up by people who don't want them to succeed. And the men who desire to protect their women and children and join the security forces – they too are targets of this evil. That is why our soldiers' morale is high. They see the human events unfold on the ground. They see the nature of the enemy, and see the Iraqi people struggling to live normal lives.Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment. And this is one of the most important lessons of this outgoing century's wide-ranging experiments in good and evil. In the place that I come from, society was composed of three simple categories: the killers, the victims and the bystanders. During the darkest of times, inside the ghettoes and death camps we felt abandoned, forgotten. All of us did.
I recommend Mr. Wiesel's thoughts to people like John Kerry who think a whirlwind trip to Iraq will provide all the wisdom and information necessary to satisfy their own agendas and, as a side issue/benefit, determine the fate of the people of Iraq. I also believe Sen. Kerry should ponder the vexing question, "Why has the morale of our troops in Iraq remained so high?"
I know one thing, it isn't because of their indifference.
The indifference of those countries, whose leaders apparently liked the status quo of allowing Saddam Hussein to brutalize his own people while getting rich off the kickbacks from the U.N. Oil for Food Program Scandal is another example of indifference to the suffering of others, precisely because of greed!
After 17 resolutions against the former Iraqi dictator, the U.N. still refused to do what was necessary at the time when most intelligence operatives agreed that Saddam had WMD's!!
So, when we look at this in hindsight, if the U.S., Britain and the coalition forces of countries that came around to supporting the invasion didn't take action, the status quo of Saddam murdering hundreds of thousands of his own people (plus neighboring Kuwait) would be continuing today and he would not be on trial for crimes against humanity. The Oil for Food Scandal would not have been revealed and those who participated in it would be continuing to line their pockets with blood money.
The parallels between the Iraq situation with Hitler's holocaust cannot be missed! In both cases, innocent people were murdered because of the world's indifference to the situation and their suffering!
The United States cannot solve all of the world's problems. But we are the one country that has solved many of them in the past, and we will continue to be active in fighting fanatics around the globe. Our country has been successful at liberating millions to a kind of freedom that they previously could have only dreamed of!
I truly believe that America has been, currently is, and ever will be blessed by God because of our uniqueness in the the world today. Despite the fact that many other countries may hate us and our policies...most of the naysayers are not into the business of liberating other countries from evil dictators and terrorist strongholds like our world-class military is currently doing.
Most of the countries that continually bash us are not even willing to do anything to help liberate victims of dictatorship nor are they concerned about any fledging democracies (like Lebanon) by helping them to stay on course!
We hear about totally naive ideas like the suggestions to "talk" with evil regimes like North Korea, Iran, and Syria. These sideline "suggesters" in the ideological struggles we face would award such countries with "talk" without first getting them to stop their nuclear proliferation and/or terrorist funding!
Such ideas would show weakness to our enemies.
Despite the hatred often aimed at President Bush, at least he has the moral conviction and steadfast fortitude to get the job done and not retreat like many secular progressives would want our nation to do. The Bush Doctrine is a policy of strength in a world that sometimes demonstrates a Polly-Annaish, "Land of Oz" view that peace will happen if we just leave the terrorists alone and let the status quo remain regarding insane, evil dictators oppression upon their people as well as the threats they pose to the rest of the civilized world.
In another thread, I posted links to articles about Jimmy Carter's new book which demonstrates how he is definitely on the wrong side of history in his worldview. Here are the links in case you missed them.
Stein said: "Does that mean killing Jews is legitimate? Did I misread this? I don't think so. If he wrote it, he is endorsing violence, which is not the original purpose of the Carter Center.
Carter to Leno: Treatment of Palestinians 'horrible' Jimmy fails to mention onslaught of terrorist attacks against Israelis
Update 9:59 a.m.
Kerry too busy for Iran
In true Kerry form:
It's clear he doesn't have too many ideas of his own – other than embarrassing his own country. But he thinks the anti-Semitic, anti-American regime in Damascus might be able to enlighten him.
It's also clear Kerry has different expectations of Middle Eastern people than he has had in the past for others. He says it's too much to expect them to embrace liberty.
"We will always be a nation that advocates democracy … but we need to be smart about the steps we take and the pace at which we demand people make transitions," he said.
Funny, I don't recall Kerry and his ideological cohorts being quite so patient in South Africa, South Vietnam and with the Iranians under the rule of the shah.
Kerry is an extremely reckless politician – unaccountable to anyone else, even his own evolving worldview. He doesn't have a clue as to what he is doing in the Middle East, other than humiliating the Bush administration. He doesn't care how much he hurts his own country's interests, as long as he perceives he is furthering his own.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
The Parents Television Council revealed in a new study that religious content on television is shown less frequently and more negatively on television. The new study, "Faith in a Box 2005-2006," is a review of how religion is portrayed on prime time broadcast television.
"The results of this study clearly show that the entertainment industry is not reflecting the strong religious beliefs of Americans in its television programming. The industry is in fact hostile to people of faith -- no matter if the person is Christian, Jewish, or Muslim," said L. Brent Bozell, president of the PTC. "
The evidence is clear: On CBS' Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen's character uses the melody of 'Joy to the World' to sing 'Joy to the Word, I'm getting laid.' Fox's The Family Guy proved to be especially sacrilegious and vile when it showed God in bed with a woman. These examples, and others, show that Hollywood has a clear distaste for religion." According to a recent Zogby/American Bible Society poll, 84% of adults are not offended when they hear references to God or the Bible on network television shows, and 51% say entertainment networks should develop shows with positive messages -- and even specifically refer to God and the Bible. "
The irony is that reality shows such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and The Amazing Race, where real characters freely express themselves, faith and religion are positively portrayed. But in scripted shows, where Hollywood writers express their worldviews, faith and religion become four letter words -- to the tune of 95.5% negative portrayals. This is an industry that is completely out of touch with reality," Bozell continued.
In this seventh PTC study examining the treatment of religious content on television, an entire year of prime-time broadcast programming was analyzed. The PTC examined a total of 2,271.5 hours of programming containing 1,425 treatments of religion.
Religion is shown less than in past years - There were half as many portrayals of religion in 2005-2006 (1,425) as in 2003-2004 (2,344).
Religion is portrayed more negatively - In 2005-2006, there were more negative depictions of religion than positive ones (35% to 34%).
Depictions of aspects affiliated with organized religion (clergy, doctrine or laity) were mostly negative.
Reality shows are more positive towards religion - The format of the program was a significant factor in the portrayal which religion received. A majority (57.8%) of the positive portrayals of religion were to be found on reality programs. By contrast, an overwhelming percentage (95.5%) of the negative portrayals of religion came from such Hollywood-scripted drama and comedy programs; only 4.5% of negative portrayals of religion were found on reality shows.
Fox was by far the most anti-religious network - One in every two (49.3%) portrayals of religion on the Fox network was negative. Long-time champion NBC came in second in negative depictions of religion, with well over a third (39.3%) of such portrayals being negative. Among other networks, over a third (35.4%) of depictions of religion on UPN was also negative. ABC registered 30.4% and CBS 29% negative portrayals. The WB network featured the fewest negative depictions of religion (21%).
Later hours of prime time are more negative towards religion - The number of negative portrayals increased steadily with each hour of prime-time. Negative treatments constituted 31.9 % of all treatments in the 8 pm hour, 33.9 % in the 9 pm hour and 44.4% in the 10 pm hour. At no time during prime time, and on no network did the positive portrayal of religion even hit the 50% mark.
Laypersons -- non-clerical individuals who profess religious faith -- were treated most negatively by entertainment programs - Over half (50.8%) of all entertainment television's depictions of laity were negative. Only 26% were positive.
Portrayal of religious institutions were critical - Close behind in negative portrayal were religious institutions (such as particular denominations, specific religious beliefs or direct references to Scripture), nearly half (47.6%) of which were negative. By contrast, only 18% of depictions of religious institutions were positive.
Clergy shown in a negative light - Prime-time television's portrayal of clergy was also heavily weighted, with less than a third (30.4%) of depictions of and references to clergy being positive, and another two-thirds being negative or ambiguous.
Simple religious faith shown positively - Only in depictions of religious faith -- showing individuals making a simple declaration of belief in God or a higher power, or praying -- was television's portrayal of religion largely positive. Over two-thirds (69.6%) of such portrayals were positive, with less than one-sixth (14.7%) being negative.
"This study clearly documents the complete disconnect between Hollywood's attitude toward religion and that of the American public," Bozell concluded.
To read the full study, "Faith in a Box 2005-2006," Click Here.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I feel so bad for the current college students who are being propagandized and indoctrinated with what the secular-progressive movement is spewing on their campuses.
Case in point. Have you heard about the angry Iranian ambassador who attacked the West, America and bashes FOX News and dodged Holocaust questions at the Columbia college campus? How ironic that this is the same campus that attacked the Minutemen who were invited to speak by a college Republican group, and, is the same campus that wouldn't let many guests who were invited to hear Walid Shoebat speak regarding his former, first hand experiences and now, Christian reformed perspective on Islamic Jihad! If anyone is qualified to know what a threat terrorists present to the U.S.A., Israel, and the world, it would be him!
Hmmmm....it seems to me that free speech is only granted when the speaker is in agreement with the liberal left worldview and viewpoints (even those who hate... like that Iranian U.N. "Ambassador," America!!!) rather than those who adhere to the Christian, conservative, Republican worldview.
It is for this reason that I will take the time to type out most of Culture Warrior's seventh chapter which deals with the war on terrorism and how the worldview and viewpoints of the secular-progressive crowd (a.k.a. liberal left loonies) would allow our country to ultimately give up and be taken over by the threats we face today...all in the name of their extreme views of "socialism," "diversity," "tolerance," while at the same time, spewing their immense hatred for all and everything that most Americans see as our Judeo-Christian heritage and values.
Who do you think Osama bin Laden supports in the American culture war: the traditionalists or the secular-progressives?
Not so fast....This may be a trick question.
On the one hand, the Saudi-born terrorist despises just about everything the S-P's fervently espouse: a de-emphasis of religion, a libertine social landscape, no judgments on most private behavior, and an acceptance of human weakness.
For those of you not currenlty up to date on their policies, al-Qaeda would decapitate gays who wanted to marry, cut off the hands of drug abusers, stone to death anyone who suggested Allah not be included in the public arena, and blind anyone who looked at pornography. If Osama was calling the shots in the U.S., the ACLU would be, in theory, very, very busy. In reality, they'd be dead.
But think about what I am about to put forth: From his hideout somewhere in the Muslim world, Osama and his cohorts have got to be cheering on the S-P movement, because its most fanatical adherents are opposed to the bedrock strengths of traditional America. The S-P world view is much softer than that of the traditional forces, as I'll demonstrate shortly. For now, it is important to understand that the S-P vanguard, the ACLU, has actively opposed just about every anti-terror strategy the United States government has introduced. In my view, that opposition greatly helps al-Qaeda and other terrorist outfits.
The secular-progressive movement opposes coerced interrogation - not torture, but harsh treatment - of captured terror suspects. They object to detention of them at U.S. military prisons like Guantanamo Bay. In addition, the ACLU opposes military tribunals (rather than civilian trials) to determine the guilt or innocence of suspected terrorists, rendition programs where terror suspects are held in foreign conuntries, floating wiretaps (already in use in U. S. criminal investigations), telephone surveillance of overseas calls by U. S. spy agencies, airport profiling, the Patriot Act, the war in Iraq, and random bag searches on subway or mass-transit systems.
In short, the ACLU opposes making life more difficult for terrorists but proposes absolutely nothing to make Americans safer. Osama has got to love it.
On the positive side (sarcasm intended), the ACLU supports: Constitutional protections for noncitizen terror suspects captured overseas, Geneva Convention protections for terror suspects captured wearing civilian clothing (which, of course, eliminates them from the Geneva Convention treaties), civilian lawyers and criminal due process instead of military justice, and the exposure of top secret U. S. antiterror programs in the press.
There's more. According to the ACLU, government officials should be prosecuted for the alleged exposure of former CIA agent Valerie Plame, but at the same time no government official should be investigated for leaking information about the top-secret National Security Agency's overseas listening activities, approved by President Bush under the seal of an Executive Order.
Add it all up and you can see exactly what I meant earlier: When it comes to the war on terror, Osama has got to be thrilled that he has unwitting allies in the ACLU and, indeed, the entire S-P movement. In my assessment, the S-Ps fail to see the danger clearly. They constantly harp on America's mistakes while confronting violent terrorism, but they do not put forth viable solutions to neutralize the threats. They create a fog that damages our counterterrorism efforts. If all Americans bought into the ACLU's terror platform, instead of hiding in a Pakistani cave someplace, Osama might be sitting at a negotiating table in Paris, patiently awaiting an interview with Le Monde.
I know I'll be harshly criticized for writing that last paragraph, but as I asked, think about it. How could any sane person adopt the stance the ACLU takes toward the war on terror? Don't those people get 9/11? Doesn't the S-P movement understand the danger America faces from terrorist fanatics who would use nuclear weapons, should they acquire them, against us?
The answer to that question is a bit complicated, but it is rooted in the one thing that the secular-progressive movement and Al-Qaeda have in common: Both outfits believe that the United States of America is fundamentally a bad place.
Again, I'll be criticized for writing that, so let's back it up and return to our pal George Lakoff, the premier S-P philosopher and guru. Like most S-P true believers, Lakoff believes that the United States is at least partially responsible for the buildup of worldwide terrorism; therefore, by that reasoning, it was some of America's own doing that it was attacked on 9/11. That point of view is obviously a tough sell to the American public, so the ACLU and others do not bring the hypothesis up very often.
But Lakoff makes the S-P position crystal clear on page 66 of his Elephant book:The idealistic claim of the Bush administration is that they intend to wipe out all terrorism. What is not mentioned is that the United States has systematically promoted a terrorism of its own and has trained terrorists, from the contras to the mujahideen, the Honduran death squads, and the Indonesian
military. Will the U.S. government stop training terrorists? Of course not. It will deny that it does so...if the U.S. wants terror to end, the U.S. must end ts own contribution to terror.
So the war on terror is largely America's fault, according to Lakoff, who conveniently avoids mentioning America's fight against the expansion of worldwide communism. As any intelligent person knows, the brutal cold war against the Soviet Union and Red China was the primary reason the U.S. armed opponents of communism like the contras in Nicaragua and the mujahideen in Afghanistan.
This is so typical of Lakoff and other S-P "thinkers": They ignore all perspective in their analysis. When was the last time you heard any S-P fanatic mention that almost 3 million people were slaughtered by communist forces in Southeast Asia after the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam? I've never heard Jane Fonda, a duchess of the S-P realm, mention that, have you?
The bedrock belief that America is, and has been, an evil country is crucial to understanding the secular-progressive point of view when it comes to the war on terror. Here's their bankrupt reasoning: The S-Ps cannot support any anti-terror measure until the U.S. stops being a terrorist country itself. Get it? Yes, they're serious. If you don't believe me, travel to Berkeley, CA, or Cambridge, MA, and ask.
I first came across this thinking when I interviewed a man named Jeremy Glick on The Factor shortly after the attack on 9/11. [Note from Christine: I saw this interview!] Mr. Glick's father had been murdered in the collapse of the World Trade Center. Despite that tragedy, however, Jeremy had signed his name to an advertisement paid for by a radical S-P group called Not in Our Name. Part of that ad suggested an outrageous equivalency: "We too watched with shock the horrific events of September 11th. We too mourned the thousands of innocent dead in Baghdad, Panama City, and a generation ago, Vietnam."
Wow. Comparing the 9/11 attack, which resulted in the murders of about three thousand innocent civilians, to the defeat of Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War (remember, he invaded Kuwait and brutalized the people there), to the removal of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega (who had turned his country into an international narcotics shipping center), and to the U.S. involvement in Vietnam (a war that was fought to prevent the spread of totalitarianism and communism). I just couldn't believe a young man like Jeremy Glick was nutty enough to sign his name to that kind of a display. There must have been some sort of misunderstanding; maybe it was part of his grieving process.
Wrong, again, culture warrior.
In what has become a famous TV verbal shoot-out, Glick came on The Factor and told me my criticism of the ad was dead wrong. Moreover, he opined, my surprise at his participation was naive:
"I'm actually surprised that you're surprised," Glick told me. "If you think about it, our current president, who I feel and many feel is in this position illegitimately by neglecting the voices of African Americans in the Florida coup...our current president now inherited a legacy from this father and inherited a political legacy that's responsible for training militarily, economically, and situating geopolitically the parties involved in the alleged assassination and murder of my father and countless of others."
The alleged assassination of his father? Glick was asserting that not only was the Bush administration partially responsible for the murderous actions of al-Qaeda, they also might even have had something directly to do with them, by supporting groups like the mujahideen in the past.
Now, when you get a misguided individual like Jeremy Glick on television, you simply cannot allow him to spout unproved accusations and downright slander. If you do that, your audience will turn on you. Add in the suffering Glick's words could bring to others who lost loved ones on 9/11, and you have to pull the plug. Which I did. Glick got the boot after this exchange:
Glick: "You evoke 9/11 to rationalize everything from domestic plunder to imperialistic aggression worldwide. You evoke sympathy with the 9/11 families."
O'Reilly: "That's a bunch of crap. I've done more for the 9/11 families, by their own admission, than you will ever hope to do."
O'Reilly: "So keep your mouth shut when you sit here exploiting those people."
Glick: "Well, you're not representing me."
O'Reilly: "I'd never represent you."
O'Reilly: "Because you have a warped view of this world and a warped view of this country."
Glick: "Well, explain that."
O'Reilly: "All right. You didn't support the action against Afghanistan to remove the Taliban. You were against it, okay?"
Glick: "Why would I want to brutalize and further punish the people in Afghanistan?"
Why, indeed, when the whole thing was America's fault from the get-go? That's Glick-think taken directly from the George Lakoff playbook. It was pathetic.
Subsequently, thanks to me, Jeremy Glick became an icon of the S-P movement, which celebrated his "bravery" in standing up to the barbarian O'Reilly.
A few years later, the S-Ps tried the same trick with Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey, a dedicated professional American soldier, was killed in the Iraq war. Ms. Sheehan, you may remember, demanded a meeting with President Bush even though she had already had one. But Ms. Sheehan wanted another chat after being tutored by antiwar zealots. Of course, Mr. Bush saw the trap a mile away. He rightly assumed Cindy Sheehan wanted to embarrass him and ignored the woman. Thereupon some in the media castigated the President for his "insensitivity" and made Cindy into a heroine.
The pro-Sheehan media blitz worked for a few weeks until I, convinced that the whole deal was a calculated S-P attack, played an audio clip of Ms. Sheehan telling Mark Knoller of CBS Radio that the terrorists in Iraq were "freedom fighters." She also said Israel was a terrorist nation. After that exposition, Ms. Sheehan's star dimmed as many rational folks who had sympathized with her, because of Casey, turned away.
The important point here is that the secular-progressive movement really believes Jeremy Glick and Cindy Sheehan are heroes. Worse, the S-Ps absolutely think the world's foremost problem is the evil superpower America, not Islamic fascist terror cells. If you take one thing away from this book, ladies and gentlemen, let it be that. The S-P brigades are not capable of understanding true evil. Their world perspective is so warped, it might even be downright dangerous.
A question then logically follows: How would the secular-progressives, themselves, deal with Islamic terrorism? Paging George Lakoff! He deals with that very issue on page 60 of his training manual:Most Islamic would-be martyrs not only share [fanatical religious] beliefs but have also grown up in a culture of despair; they have nothing to lose. Eliminate such poverty and you eliminate the breeding ground for terrorists...when the Bush administration speaks of eliminating terror, it does not appear to be talking about eliminating cultures of despair and the social conditions that lead one to want to give up his life to martyrdom.
Outstanding. Lakoff apparently believes the U.S. has the power to eliminate poverty and change social conditions in places like Pakistan - estimated population, 163 million. America can't even eliminate poverty and change "social conditions" in Detroit, much less Islamabad. No government can impose prosperity or benign thinking on masses of people. It is simply impossible.
But George Lakoff and the S-Ps don't care for rational analysis. It sounds so good to say that terrorism can be defeated by a change in America's foreign policy. More Lakoff (page 63):What is needed is a new kind of moral foreign policy, one that realizes that America can only be a better America if the world is a better world. America must become a moral leader using fundamental human values: caring and responsibility carried out with strength to respond to the world's problems.
Once again, Lakoff seems to have missed the truth of America's great sacrifice in defeating the Soviet Union's totalitarianism and thereby bringing freedom to tens of millions of people in Eastern Europe and other Soviet-dominated areas. Nor does the S-P guru mention the enormous blood and treasure America spent defeating the Nazis and Imperial Japan. Don't those historic achievements fall in the category of "caring and responsibility carried out with strength to respond to the world's problems"? Or did the U.S. bring WWII upon itself as well?
It galls me that the S-Ps can get away with denigrating the United States when it, along with Great Britain and a precious few other conuntries, are standing up against a homicidal jihad that could destroy the world.
The S-Ps' unrealistic assessment of the war on terror is dangerous, naive, and disqualifies the secular-progressive movement from any serious participation in the post-9/11 decision-making process. Sure, it would be great to heal all social ills all over the world by waving a magic wand, but why bother spouting such delusional nonsense. The S-Ps are at their best when proposing airy theories or undermining policies with which they disagree. They fail dismally, however, when asked to create better, more effective policies to protect and improve the lives of everyday people. But that failure does not deter them; they are convinced they hold the moral high ground and those who oppose them - their enemies in the culture war - must be marginalized for the good of all.
And so I have arrived at this necessary conclusion: All clear-thinking Americans should become opponents of the S-P movement for the simple reason of self-preservation. If the secular-progressives ever come to power in America, and remember, Howard Dean got close, their policies would put you and your family in grave danger. Osama and his pals would love to face off against Lakoff, Dean, Michael Moore, George Soros, and the rest of the soft secular forces. In the 1930s, Adolf Hitler had a blast with Neville Chamberlain, the appeasement-supporting prime minister of Great Britain. That historical lesson might be worth revisiting in the culture war between the traditionalists and the S-Ps.
Oh, and one more thing. If you really want to see just how "caring" and humane the secular-progressive movement is, visit some of their black-hearted web sites. If the hatred and libel you see are examples of S-P caring, somewhere the Marquis de Sade is cheering. One of the reasons I am writing this book is to show the great divide between how the S-Ps frame their arguments and their actual conduct. Many of these people are as ruthless as anyone you see in the Bush administration. But they hide behind the nurturing and enlightenment themes. To use an old Levittown expression: "What a crock."
Please order your copy of Culture Warrior at Bill O'Reilly's website. For each copy sold, one will be sent free of charge to one of our brave military heroes fighting for our freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq!
Update: For some S-P vs. Traditional Culture Warrior events in action:
My thanks to my Christian blogging friend Mark of Chester Street for linking to Independent Conservative's extensive post about Barack HUSSEIN Obama and where he really stands on most issues. (Hint: Soros and Lakoff would love this guy!!!)